I woke up at 7am this morning with Pat in my thoughts and prayers. As I snuggled under my warm blankets and glanced at the clock, I realized that this dedicated and humble 40 Days for Life vigil shift manager and his group from St. Regis in Trafford were already standing on the cold, windy, snowy and sub-zero sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood. Later today, while I was cuddled up with a blanket on my couch, reading a book…I thought and prayed for Rose…who was standing with her church, Holy Wisdom. And this evening, as it was getting dark and the snow was blowing outside, I kept Jim and Cathy…our Sunday evening shift managers….in my prayers as I thought about the sacrifice they (both in their 70’s) were making for this cause.
What PASSION we are revealing…to God…to our city…to OURSELVES! It is true that the pro-life movement has many “parts” and all of them important. For instance, it is very important to be active politically to try to elect pro-life legislators. It is also very important to support the crisis pregnancy centers, (such as Women’s Choice Network, Choices Pregnancy Center, Pregnancy Resource Center of the South Hills, Life Choices and Tri-City Life Center, just to name a few)! However, nothing shows our PASSION for these children that are being murdered and their families that are being torn apart more than our witness on the sidewalk! Especially in weather like this! I mean, WHO in their RIGHT MIND would get out of bed at 6am on a Sunday morning and drive to town to stand on a lonely sidewalk in front of a closed abortion clinic??? Are we CRAZY?? No…we are just PASSIONATE!!! Tell me, if it were YOUR baby that was scheduled to die this week at Planned Parenthood…what lengths would YOU go to save his or her life? I would gladly stand on a freezing sidewalk if that is what it took…and I bet you would too.
So, since in Christ we are ALL related to each other, here are some photos of the wonderful people who showed passion for THEIR children in danger of abortion today at the vigil…taken by shift managers Pat & Rose:
Pat had this to say about his 7am-11am shift:
As I prepared for and arrived at my 7 AM – 11 AM shift this Sunday, the following questions floated through my mind:
“Will these unplowed roads allow me to even get out of my neighborhood?” “If you knew that the roads would be bad, why didn’t you leave yourself more time to get there?” “Why aren’t these darn hand-warmers getting warm?” “In this weather, will anyone from my parish – or anywhere else – even show?” “If no one shows, how in the world am I going to get a bathroom break?”
In the end, each of these half-complaints, half-prayers were answered perfectly by God. All went well and I was given another lesson in trusting in His providence. Thank you to the members of St. Boniface/Holy Wisdom parish on the North Side who came out: Andy, Claire, Chris, and fellow shift managers Al and Sally. And from my parish, thank you to Mike, Guy, and next-door neighbors Georgia and Larry. Although I took several pictures while there, for some reason (operator error) they somehow didn’t make it back home with me. So a special thank you to Larry who, perhaps foreseeing this, took the one picture we have from my shift.
One final thought. As I work my way through the book, 40 Days for Life, and read about how this movement first began and then grew so unexpectedly, I find reassurance – and even excitement – in the knowledge that what we participate in is not something conceived by man, but by the Holy Spirit. Pat
Rose had this to say about today’s 11am-3pm shift:
Despite the cold temperatures today, we had a fine turnout at PP. Chris, Sally and I talked with a couple who had questions about birth control and was it OK to abort a baby from rape. We had an interesting discussion by speaking the truth with Mandy and Tom who seemed sincere in wanting information. We gave them a pamphlet and said we’d keep them in our prayers. Then Theresa and William came as well as Barb and Richard. Julie, my other shift manager, came with her friend from Mexico, Oyuki and prayed the rosary in Spanish. Oyuki was very cold, but persevered. Please pray for Oyuki who wants to enroll in the Master’s program at PItt. Later Ray amd Micahela and John arrived to pray two Scriptural rosaries and a Chaplet of Divine Mercy, followed later by Ray’s wife Kathy. She was helping hand out baby bottles after several Masses today at Holy Wisdom to collect money to help support the 6 crisis pregnancy centers here in Pittsburgh. After they all left around 2 pm I was alone for about 5 minutes when Patty and Kathy from Holy Wisdom showed up for the last hour to pray the rosary. There were several people who thanked us or gave us the thumbs up for what we are doing for the unborn. What a blessed day and privilege to pray for the unborn with other dedicated pro-lifers! Blessings, Rose
Those of us who were NOT at the vigil today…or who cannot ever make it to the vigil…are STILL showing their passion to themselves and to God by their daily prayer devotions and their fasting! I felt connected to the sacrifice and suffering of all those standing vigil today through my prayers and fasting (today was my assigned day to fast on 40-day fasting calendar). I believe that our prayers and our fasting ARE making a difference at the vigil! Sally reported that there may have been a turn-around at Planned Parenthood yesterday! I don’t know any details yet, but will be sure to share them if I hear anything!
You can still sign up to fast on one day to help us maintain a 40 day fast from food by clicking on this link: http://www.volunteerspot.com/login/entry/84320295805
You can also help us fill empty time slots at the vigil this week by replying to this email! We have no one signed up to stand with shift manager Cathy on Wednesday morning at 8am and at 10am. There is also no one to stand with shift manager Barbara for her ENTIRE evening shift from 3pm-7pm on Wednesday! On Thursday the 2pm and the 4pm hours are empty and Friday from 8am-11am there is no one signed up…and it is an abortion day!!! Please help if you can!
If more photos or stories come in from the morning shift with St. Regis, or the evening shift with the the dedicated individuals who filled the time slots, they will be posted here.